The WNBA is back, and the league’s most vocal superstar, Liz Cambage, is opening up about her life and the current state of women’s professional basketball in the United States.
Despite making bizarre roster decisions lately, like waiving popular guard Te’a Cooper, the Los Angeles Sparks and their fans are still confident the franchise will return to glory after signing Liz Cambage. The Sparks have an illustrious history of winning chips with their centers leading the charge, and they hope Cambage will recapture that magic that players like Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker brought to the team, and there is no reason to believe that won’t be the case.
Speaking with the New York Times, Cambage opened up about her struggle with her mental health, growing up as a child, and the equity issues that continue to haunt women’s sports, especially the WNBA. Cambage has been very vocal about the pay disparities tweeting, “ahhh yes the @WNBA where a head coach can get paid 4X the highest-paid players supermax contract. lmao and y’all think imma spend another season upgrading my seat on a flight to get to games out of my own pocket.” Her comments came after her former team, the Las Vegas Aces, hired Becky Hammons as its next head coach and GM, with her salary reportedly exceeding $1M annually.
Cambage, who at the time of that tweet was a free agent, pretty much confirmed she had no desire to return to the team and stated in the interview she’s vocal about the issue to make it better for future generations. She added that if she had a daughter, she would not want her to hoop in the WNBA right now.
“I don’t think I’m going to get a million-dollar contract in the W.N.B.A. tomorrow,” Cambage said, “but I speak on it because right now it’s like, I wouldn’t want my daughter to play in this if my daughter was in college right now.”
Cambage also spoke about her struggles with her mental health early in her playing career with Tulsa Shock, now known as the Dallas Wings, revealing she needed a sports psychologist and relied on partying, drinking, and self-medicating to cope.
“It’s a vicious cycle that you don’t really realize you’re caught up in until you’re burned out from Valium or Xanax,” she said. “But that was my toxic way of dealing with just feeling too much.”
How can you not route for Liz Cambage? The Liz Cambage-led Sparks’ quest for glory begins against the defending champions Chicago Sky led by Candace Parker on NBA TV at 8 pm tonight.
Photo: Leon Bennett / Getty
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